Young people in Canada are more likely to have never tried smoking, reveals new data by Statistics Canada. However, they are also more likely to have tried vaping than their older counterparts.
The statistics agency reported that in 2021, 12% of youth aged 15 to 19 and 17% of 20- to 24-year-olds said they had vaped, in comparison to just 4% of adults aged 25 or older. While 6 out of 10 Canadian youth aged 15 to 19 and more than 25% of young adults aged 20 to 24, said they had never tried a cigarette.
The agency revealed this data in a concerning tone. “While vaping may be less harmful than the inhalation of smoke from tobacco, it poses risks of nicotine dependence, other substance use, and respiratory and cardiovascular disease,” said Statistics Canada. “It is feared that the widespread adoption of vaping may undermine longer-term reductions in smoking and lead to the re-normalization of tobacco use.”
Meanwhile, countless peer reviewed studies have explained that as long as the increase in vaping is leading to a decrease in smoking, health authorities should not be concerned. Teenagers will always be drawn to experimentation and the ones with the personality type to do so would be experimenting with riskier nicotine products in the absence of vapes. Viewed in this manner, the products should be considered beneficial to public health.
Vaping rates have actually declined
Moreover, the Canadian Tobacco and Vaping Survey, 2020, found that youth vaping has already declined since 2019, and youth daily vaping is at 4.7%, therefore the proposed flavour ban is unnecessary. While a recent Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey has indicated that between 2019 and 2020, there was a 40% drop in smoking rates in this specific age group, from 13.3% to 8%. This figure is encouraging for Health Canada’s no smoking target (5% by 2035) and this 5% target rate has already been achieved among those aged 15-19.